HURRICANE – The Washington County Attorney’s Office released the following statement concerning the auto-pursuit and shooting at a gas station in Hurricane Monday night:
The Washington County Critical Incident Task Force has been deployed to investigate the officer involved shooting that occurred in Hurricane on the evening of Nov. 19.
The investigation is ongoing and investigators from multiple agencies are actively working on the case.
Based upon the initial investigation, on Nov. 19, 2012, at approximately 6 p.m., St. George Police Department officers arrested a 48-year-old St. George woman for two no-bail parole violation warrants issued by the State of Nevada as well as a Hurricane City Justice Court warrant.
A St. George Police officer transported the woman to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane for booking. According to initial interviews with the transporting officer, the woman was searched and handcuffed for transport. When the officer arrived at the jail and opened the passenger door, he discovered that the suspect was holding a gun in her hand-cuffed hands and pointing it at him from behind her back. The officer retreated and the woman gained access to the driver’s seat in the police vehicle, started the engine, and drove the police vehicle through the closed rolling door of the jail’s sally port.
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the ensuing pursuit of the suspect. The pursuit went through Hurricane City and La Verkin City. She drove to Interstate 15 and went southbound from the La Verkin area. A Utah Highway Patrol Trooper deployed tire deflating road spikes on I-15 and successfully deflated a tire on the stolen police vehicle. The woman continued to flee from officers at a high rate of speed, eventually turning eastbound on state Route 9 heading back toward Hurricane City.
The woman drove to the Chevron gas station located at 40 North 6300 West in Hurricane and pulled into a parking stall in front of the store. She exited the stolen police vehicle and attempted to enter another parked vehicle.
Officers arrived immediately and confronted the woman. According to initial statements, she was still handcuffed but brandishing a gun. A Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy fired one shot from the Deputy’s duty hand gun at the woman.
The woman was struck in the hip and collapsed as a result of her injuries. She was taken into custody. Medical personnel responded and the woman was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center where she is currently being treated. The firearm he used was recovered at the scene.
Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap confirmed the police vehicle that was taken by the suspect was a K-9 unit. The police dog that was in the vehicle during the incident was not harmed.
The investigation into alleged criminal actions involving the suspect is being conducted by the Hurricane City Police Department.
The investigation into the actions and responses of the officers involved is being conducted by the Washington County Critical Incident Task Force, under the direction of Washington County Attorney Investigator Barry Golding.
Request for Assistance
Investigators are looking for anyone with information regarding this incident. Please contact Investigator Barry Golding at 435-986-2606 if you saw or heard anything.
Submitted by the Washington County Attorney’s Office.
Note: Persons arrested are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.